A 30-gallon fish tank isn’t exactly a large aquarium, considering how large aquariums can actually be. But it isn’t a small tank either. In fact, a 30-gallon aquarium can be a great alternative for a large, 70-80 gallon aquarium. An aquarium of this size allows you to rock an epic combination of plants and different species.
Whether you want to host shrimps, snails, crabs, or exotic fish species, a 30-gallon aquarium will give you the room to have them all without turning your aquarium into a battlefield.
If you have aced the small-aquarium phase and you are planning to grow as an aquarist, a 30-gallon tank can serve as the perfect gateway for you to move on to bigger tanks.
It does not take up too much space, provides enough space for a lot of beautiful fish you normally find in commercial tanks and gives you enough room to grow as an aquarist and learn new things along the way. So, you see, a tank this big can do a lot for you while looping you into minimal drudgery.
However, since there are many options available in the market, choosing the best 30-gallon fish tank out there can be hectic. The process may be breezy for people with past experience in the fish-keeping department. But, if you are a freshie for larger aquariums or just launching into this hobby, it can be a bit difficult for you to make the right choice.
But whoever you are, take it easy because we have got you covered. By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to make an informed purchase. You will also have your hands on a bunch of tips and answers to go-to queries as an aquarist instigating into a 30-gallon aquarium.
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Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit
Long Octagon Aqua Coffee Table Aquarium
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
30 ¼ x 19 x 12 ½ inches
30 x 30 x 16 inches
36 x 12 x 16 inches
Why should I choose a 30-Gallon Aquarium?
A 30-gallon aquarium can be a great choice for someone who wants to dive into aquascaping but isn’t willing to start small. Luckily, this is a reasonable-sized tank, large enough to not fall into the smaller tank category and it is not a very man-sized tank either.
A 30-gallon fish tank also makes a great choice for someone who is very fond of aquariums. Someone who is passionate about being an aquarist and wants to add another tank to his collection. This sort of person would normally want to add another species or develop a different ecosystem and there’s no better way to do that than by bringing a brand-new aquarium to the table.
It also serves as a great stairway for someone who is looking to grow his way into being an aquarist. It’s smaller, doesn’t require a bulky stand, wouldn’t need loads of cleaning, yet still be large enough to accommodate all your aquarium-level species.
So, whether you are a first-timer, an experienced aquarist, or a seasonal one, a 30-gallon fish tank can be a great choice for anyone under the right circumstances.
Things you should know about a 30-Gallon Aquarium
So, apart from an average 30-gallon aquarium, you will find multiple types of 30-gallon tanks in the market. These are specialized versions such as breeding tanks, wide tanks, tall tanks, etc. The purpose, dimensions, and design of each tank can vary. This is something worth knowing in case you want an aquarium only for a purpose.
You can get your hands on a high-end 30-gallon model at a higher price. And you can buy a tank under budget as well. This is because the tanks are made for consumer interests and the best way to do that is by making products that appeal to a specific audience. Therefore, don’t be fooled into believing you are getting a great deal just because the price is low. Chances are, you are getting exactly what you’re paying for.
A 30-gallon aquarium, and any aquarium for that matter, comes with an array of tools. These tools minimize your involvement in the maintenance and looking after the tank. So, if you’ve got the budget for it, go for a tank that comes with a set of the right equipment.
We’ll be highlighting the primary elements of 30-gallon aquarium equipment at the end of this article.
How do I choose the best 30-Gallon Fish Tank?
To help you make a better decision during your purchase, remember to include the following factors in your pre-purchase checklist:
The two common materials for a 30-gallon aquarium are glass and acrylic. A glass aquarium will always be more prone to breakage. On the contrary, an acrylic tank is more sturdy, twice as more durable than glass. While a glass tank is hyaline, an acrylic tank is stronger. The choice is yours.
Defining your budget will help you get more in less amount. For instance, if budget is not an issue, you can buy a complete, equipped tank and it will save you effort and time.
If you are operating under a budget and you want to have a 30 gallon tank, that’s when you go for something affordable while scoring as much accessories as you can.
Determine where you want to set up the tank in your house. If you consider placement beforehand, it will help you choose a design that will complement your interior décor. Proper placement/design will always help you avoid any issues in the future.
The standard 30-gallon tank comes in a 36 ¼ x 12 5/8 x 16 ¾ size. Variations in shape and due to the purpose of each tank, this size is subjected to vary.
There are a couple of fish tanks out there. Coldwater freshwater tank, tropical freshwater tank, tropical marine tank, brackish tank, reef tank, coldwater marine tank, etc. are some top examples. Each fish will require its own vibrant living environment. Many a time, you will find aquariums on sale for their specialization in one of the above types. So, bear that in mind and you might land a great deal for yourself.
Sometimes, your aquarium will come with a top that holds a colorful set of LEDs – which is great. However, some people prefer setting up their own lighting, to help them grow live plants. Keep this in mind so you can buy accordingly.
Best 30-Gallon Aquarium to buy in 2023
Our team reviewed 25 aquariums, all of them falling in the 25 – 40-gallon range. The editors, being the critical geeks that they are, have narrowed the list down to only 10 aquariums. So, that’s what we are going with.
The list includes reviewed aquariums from the highest to lowest price range and on the basis of features and customer reviews. So, without further ado, let’s get you to it.
- Dimensions: 36 x 12 x 16 inches
- Weight: 20 lbs.
- Size: 30 Gallons
- Color: Black
- Lighting: 24” light fixture (no bulb included)
- Comes With: Aquarium reflector, light fixture, and aquarium
This combo comes with an amazing acrylic aquarium, a black light top, and is extremely easy to set up. It has a reflector as well that will enhance the light output of your tank.
Due to its acrylic body, the tank is impact resistant and less prone to cracking or chipping. This makes this aquarium a great candidate especially if you have pets or children at home.
There’s not a lot more to say, it’s a great looking tank, well-built and simple. It will make your fish and decorations pop in the true sense!
- Made up of clear acrylic; much clearer than glass
- The absence of edges gives the tank a cleaner, aesthetic look
- It’s a very light tank for its size
- The light fixture doesn’t give enough light and you will probably have to go with another LED with it
- Dimensions: 6 x 14 x 25.6 inches (Stand: 23.6 x 14.2 x 25.6 inches)
- Weight: 128 lbs.
- Size: 30 Gallons
- Color: Black (Acrylic Pedestal)
- Lighting: Floor lighting (light bulb)
- Comes With: Upright Stand, Filtration System, 110-120V Water Pump, LED Lighting System
Made up of ultra-white, low-iron tempered, and high-quality crystal glass, this freshwater aquarium can withstand heavy impacts and is very sturdy. The thickness of the glass is around 0.3 inches. The visible light transmittance is over 90%. The frame is saltwater-erosion resistant and the aquarium can be used to breed marine life, aquatic plants, and produce beautiful landscape features.
The stands and the rim comes in multiple colors and it’s made up of sleek aluminum. It is an excellent luxury fish tank that comes with a 3-year warranty. If it suits your budget, get it. The lighting system, filtration, stand, and pump, etc. all make it worth the money!
- Comes with a 1-year warranty for electrical units
- Spare parts service for life
- 3-year warranty overall
- Looks great and comes with the essentials
- Suggested for people who already have some experience with aquariums
- Comes with a stand. Not suitable if you don’t want it or prefer another placement
- Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 10 inches
- Weight: 35 lbs.
- Size: 25-28 Gallons
- Color: Black/White
- Lighting: Not Included
- Comes With: Return pump, plumbing kit, and built-in rear 3 overflow chambers
This aquarium is put together very well and offers great value. It has 3 chambers that serve as nice overflow sections and save your naughty fish from falling out of the tank. The center chamber is big enough to run a refugium.
They’re selling this tank at a great price and it’s made up of star fire glass – the two statements are contradictory.
It comes in outstanding packing, looks as advertised, and the pump it comes with is great in size. In the low-end bracket, this is one of the most economical and high-quality 30-ish gallon tank you can get for yourself.
- All-in-one aquarium
- Comes with oversized back chambers that make maintenance very easy and clean
- Great design and layout
- The silicone on the seams gives off a sloppy job for a design this good
- Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 16 inches (Table Top Length: 38 x 38 inches)
- Weight: 90 lbs.
- Size: 40 Gallons (Suggested filling: 35-38 gallons)
- Color: Black (Acrylic Pedestal)
- Lighting: Illuminated from below the bed of gravel
- Comes With: Pump, lighting, extension cord, decorative plants, two-stage submersible filtration pump, table top, blue glass gravel (plants/décor not included)
This coffee table aquarium’s capacity is around 40 gallons but we’ve still included this. Hear us out. It is beautiful and it is unique! This is ideal for everyone who knows their way around being an aquarist. We have included this because it is an ultimate woo-your-guests tool.
The kids, elders, grandparents – everybody is going to love it. This innovative liquid luxury creates epic art in motion. It comes with the required aquarium equipment. The table top is clear. The aquarium glass is aesthetically pleasing. It’s advertised as octagon but it is missing one side for an octagon.
Nevertheless, it will create the relaxing atmosphere that you are probably looking for whilst providing everyday utility.
- You are going to love it when it is lit up at night
- Excellent aquarium and an epic piece of furniture
- Comes with the essentials
- Not for people looking for a traditional aquarium
- Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 18 inches (Sump: 19 x 12 x 12 inches)
- Weight: N/A
- Size: 32 Gallons
- Color: White
- Lighting: Not included
- Comes With: LUX Aquarium, PVC Sump with Filter Sock, ATO Float Valve, AQ2000 Water Pump, Classic 110int Protein Skimmer, Stylish Cabinet
Available in Pearl White and Gloss Black
This too-good-to-be-true bundle comes with limitless possibilities that allow you to channel your inner artist into putting together an aquarium setup that stands alone. This perfect bundle is excellent because it comes with above-par aquarium equipment with maximum compatibility.
It comes with a lightweight stand, pump, filtration media, cleaner, leveling mat, and basically, everything that can give you a perfect blend for aquascaping. Get this flawless bundle today and create your epic aquascape with 24 inches all-set to spread out.
- Easy to set up
- Comes with excellent tools
- The pump is controllable
- Comes without ligthning
- Dimensions: 30 ¼ x 19 x 12 ½ inches
- Weight: 30 lbs.
- Size: 30 Gallons
- Color: Black
- Lighting: Proficient LED Lighting
- Comes With: Tetra Food and Water Care samples, daylight impersonating LED lighting, quiet filtration kit, Skroutz unique eBook
This 29-gallon aquarium comes with a starter kit that is just what you need to turn your tank into a natural living space. Ideal for larger spaces and would really make your fish pop when highlighted through a tall aquarium stand.
The inward channel on the main unit gives amazing yet quiet filtration while keeping your fish comfortable and the water crystal clear.
The LED lighting strip has 7 sections and each section contains 3 white LEDs. However, it’s possible that the lights may not be adequate for all your tank’s inhabitants. So, you may need another LED inside the tank. Overall, the tank will do good!
- The tank is decent and very geared for a beginner
- The package is excellent value for money
- Good tank overall
- As an experienced fish keeper, the kit may not sweep you off your feet.
- The LED system isn’t ideal
- Dimensions: 8 x 20 x 27 inches
- Weight: 5 lbs.
- Size: 25 Gallons + a 95-liter water collection bucket
- Color: Brown
- Lighting: Energy-efficient LED lighting system for night or daylighting
- Comes With: LED Lighting system, convenient water collection bucket, cover lid, one-touch filter and water maintenance system
This is hands-down one of the most beautiful aquariums you will ever lay eyes on. The beautiful bezels, lid, bottom, the brick-like structure in the center of the tank, everything is just great.
Let’s be real, most of us will love having an aquarium, but we avoid dealing with chores related to having one – like cleaning the tank or its maintenance. Lucky for you, this tank has a one-touch filtration/water change maintenance system and you don’t get that anywhere.
This aquarium can help you relax in a true sense while you enjoy the beauty of your aquarium. We’d advise you to get it, we know the capacity is around 25 gallons but it’s worth it.
- Comes with the excellent SIMPLETEC Maintenance System
- Bright integrated LED
- Looks great
- The flow output is noisy
- Its sleek design comes in the way of practicality at times
- Dimensions: 5 x 14.20 xx 16 inches
- Weight: 39 lbs.
- Size: 29 Gallons
- Color: Brown
- Lighting: LED Light System
- Comes With: 360 gallon per hour pump, bio balls, filter sponge, and LED light, filtration system
This gorgeous aquarium is perfect for freshwater and saltwater fish. The high-quality acrylic construction and spacious back area for filtration when coupled with fresh LED lighting, makes your colorful fish really pop in the room.
Also, it comes at a great price and you will not be able to find another AIO nano/reef/saltwater aquarium at this value or price!
Overall, the aquarium is built really well, filtration process is a breeze, and looks really great. Pretty much everything you will need. However, it doesn’t come with a top and that can be a problem during water cleaning.
- The tank has a nice size and is built-well
- It has a compartment behind and that’s for housing a heater
- Enough room inside to satisfy your aesthetic sense
- It doesn’t have a top lid
- It doesn’t have a heater like most aquarium (but that’s like most kits out there)
- Dimensions: 40 x 23 x 21 inches
- Weight: 95 lbs.
- Size: 28 Gallons
- Color: Black
- Lighting: Floor Illumination (Light bulb)
- Comes With: Freshwater aquarium tank plus an excellent coffee table, pump, filter, gravel, and more!
Adding another coffee table aquarium in the list because this one comes at a noticeably lesser price. It’s a beautiful aquarium table and includes 1 year manufacturer warranty.
The aquarium is handcrafted, features a quality gallery, and includes everything you need as an aquarist. Just add the water, fish, and power it up and you’ll be good. The tank is easy to put together. You just have to keep changing the filter and watch out for the illuminated aquascapes on your room’s ceiling at night. It’s a cool change of pace from a traditional aquarium!
- Cool change of pace from a traditional aquarium
- Comes with all the necessary pieces of equipment and gravel
- Doesn’t include a heater and you will need it at some point
- It comes with gravel but you will need other ornaments
- Dimensions: 6 x 17.7 x 17.7 inches
- Weight: 51 lbs.
- Size: 32.1 Gallons
- Color: Rimless Tank (Transparent)
- Lighting: Not Included
- Comes With: Black nano foam leveling mat
This is a beautiful, scratch-less, and an elegant tank. You just have to add the right lighting and ornaments to it and you’ll be blown away by how good it looks. The silicone it is joined with looks neat and sleek.
It has an 8mm thick crystal-clear low iron glass that offers over 91 percent transparency. The tank is hand-made by experienced craftsmen and the work on rimming shows.
We believe that it’s a great tank to have if you like to move towards setting up a tank from scratch. Premium quality and maximum room for customizability, what else do you need?
- The glass is quite thick – you can even drill it
- Comes in a nicely packed crate!
- Maximum room for customizability
- This tank isn’t your traditional aquarium kit.
- It’ll require work from scratch
How to set up a 30-Gallon Fish Tank – Setup Idea
First and foremost, you will need a nice substrate layer at the bottom of your tank. Here are a few ideas we have for you in this regard:
- Wash the gravel/substrate well and remove any pointy stones.
- Make sure all the equipment you have is ready to use and suitable.
- Pick a good place for your tank
- Place the live plants and anchor them well
- Set up all the decorations
- Set up all the necessary equipment
- Once everything is in place, slowly add water to your tank
- Remember to add any necessary chemicals, salt, purifiers to your tank
- Turn the equipment on and leave it on for some time
- Check the nitrate and ammonia levels – they’ll peak once and then they’ll fall to zero, that’s when it’ll be safe for you to add the fish.
- When adding fish to the tank, make them slowly adjust to your tank’s water. Add the tank water into the fish bag slowly (take hours) and then get the fish into the tank.
Equipment Guidelines for a 30-Gallon Aquarium
Chances are, if you are spending a handsome amount on your 30-gallon aquarium, it will come with a few go-to accessories. These accessories may include heater, filtration, lights, lid, gravel vacuum, aquarium pump, thermometer, etc. and more. Choosing the right equipment will ensure a smooth, nutritious, and well-functioning environment for your plants and fish.
- The water temperature in your tank has to be regulated in some way. This is done using a heater in your aquarium.
- Water in the wild is constantly messing and mixing – tides and whatnot. In an aquarium, you do this by filters that eventually helps you in moving towards a dynamic ecosystem.
- Lights, aquarium lid, aquarium pump, gravel vacuum, etc. are some other essential accessories to enhance the living conditions in your aquarium.
What are the best Fish Types for a 30-Gallon Tank?
Your 30-gallon aquarium can be a hub for many ornamental fish that add color to your tank. Some top-of-the-line choices are angel ram cichlids, umbrella cichlids, catfish species, cardinal tetra, small tetra, red neon tetra, neon rainbowfish, dwarf gourami species, mollies, platies, guppies, and many more! These fish are guaranteed to feel very comfortable in a basin that is 28 – 34 inches in length. Hence, a 30-gallon tank would qualify as a fine home.
How much will it cost to run a 30-Gallon Fish Tank?
The electric cost for running a 30-gallon fish tank can cost you up to $6 per month. When you include the maintenance and water costs, the average total sum can cost you around 7 – 9 USD per month.